By Jaime Caldwell, President of SFHHA

I was explaining to a potential member about the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association and said about our knowledge that it was “several miles wide, but only an inch deep.” As a small hospital and healthcare trade association with tight staffing, it is not possible for us to gain depth of knowledge at the expense of not doing other things required by the Association. Therefore, periodically, I like to do a swim around the pond and identify areas of current or growing importance.

Medicaid continuous enrollment. Since mid-2020 states that accepted enhanced Medicaid funding agreed to not do annual Medicaid redetermination process to assure that all the persons on the state Medicaid rolls are still eligible. With the wild swings in the labor market during the strong COVID-19 years of 2021-22, it made sense as people found themselves employed and unemployed with some frequency. Recent Congressional action has negated that requirement for no redeterminations and now states are in the process of doing redeterminations and they must be completed by May 2024.

Why is this important? Well, it is estimated that anywhere between 15 and 18 million people will lose coverage. Worse, an estimated 6.7 million children will lose their CHIP coverage! A Georgetown University Center for Children and Families study, “found that 72 percent of children will likely lose coverage because of state bureaucratic issues, not because of ineligibility. According to the report, the nation’s uninsured rate for children (5 percent in 2021) could more than double if states do not redetermine eligibility correctly.” [Becker’s]

Texas board charges 23 nurses in fake degree. Sadly, we are likely going to see more issues involving the issuance of fake degrees. While this headline was from Texas, Florida already had its scandal (likely more to come). This has implications for the students, some who claimed they were duped, and to healthcare providers who hired these candidates in good faith. There will be more.

And, on some lighter notes … COVID vaccines. A new global strategy was just released, “for developing vaccines that are broadly protective against future coronavirus threats.” Arguing that three times over the last 20 years a “coronavirus has emerged to cause a public health crisis,” it seems about time that we took a more exhaustive look.  Amazon closes $3.9B One Medical deal. Primary care subscription service … add it to your PRIME membership! And, yes, CBS has renewed Ghosts, Young Sheldon, The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, Night Court, and several of the NCISs.